The DUP yesterday lambasted the UUP, claiming that it is the height of hypocrisy for them to withdraw from the Executive, when it was they who initially endorsed the shameful Belfast Agreement.
Of course, on this point they are correct. The UUP know they are vulnerable on this point, hence why Nesbitt ensured he included within his announcement a declaration that the UUP are still totally committed to the 1998 Agreement. Of course, there was an obvious failure to admit that the Belfast Agreement was based upon a tissue of lies.
The DUP, who now scream hypocrisy at the UUP, opposed the Belfast Agreement and refused to take their seats around the Executive due to the presence of an armed IRA. Now, just short of two decades later, the DUP are desperate to remain in an Executive which is propped up alongside the same Sinn Fein that they refused to sit with in 1998.
One wonders what has changed? The IRA are still engaged in violence. They still have a command structure. And yet it is a very real possibility that not only will the DUP cling to power alongside the IRA’s surrogates, but they may even take an extra ministry- courtesy of an IRA murder.
The hypocrisy from the cheerleaders of the Belfast Agreement is breathtaking. Many of those who championed that perverse agreement are now jumping up and down demanding an end to the power sharing arrangements. Let it not be forgotten who put the IRA in Government in the first place.
The DUP position is somewhat remarkable. From taking a principled stand against the agreement they have gone the opposite direction and are now the chief implementers of all the main architecture of the same agreement- desperate to cling to power alongside Sinn Fein- at any cost.
The DUP have a cheek to call anyone hypocritical. Seldom has politics known such a remarkable reversal of core principles as they have displayed.
The DUP and UUP are on the same merry-go round. Both bear responsibility for gifting the IRA a place at the heart of Government. The fact that they happen to be at opposite ends of the merry-go round makes little difference. They have both followed the same iniquitous path.
The UUP would gain so much more credibility if they had the bravery to stand up and admit that the Belfast Agreement was wrong and that it has been responsible for a great erosion of our culture, and furthermore that it has allowed Sinn Fein/IRA- whose stated desire is the destruction of our British sovereignty -to infiltrate every area of policing, justice, politics and civic society.
The DUP on the other hand can lambast the UUP until they are hoarse. The overwhelming majority of the Unionist people have finally woken up to the sheer folly of this mandatory coalition power sharing arrangement and no amount of DUP spin will be able to pull the wool over people’s eyes this time.
The DUP have a choice to make- do they take a principled stand beside their own Unionist people or- as I suspect- do they try and devise a way to cling to power alongside their partners in Government- The surrogates of the IRA that they promised would wear sackcloth and ashes!